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Signing Up

Though I was twenty years old on the 6th of June, 1861, I had never done anything without my father's advice and consent. Of course I would not take so important a step as to enlist without his consent. This he was reluctant to give, but when a regiment was being raised in Chicago of moral and Christian young man, I got father's consent to enlist in a company that was being raised for that regiment by a Reverend Mr. Slaughter, a minister of the M. E. Church, provided Elijah Moshier and Erastus Smith, excellent Christian young man of our neighborhood, would also enlist. Elijah consented, but Erastus could not be spared, as he was the main dependence of his aged father, a retired minister, on the farm.

But the news from the front was getting more exciting every day. Southern rebels were being mustered into great armies, and were making boastful threats of the invasion of the North. Personal interests were forgotten in the greater interests of national unity.

Soon after the call for five hundred thousand volunteers was issued, C. S. Merriman, railroad station agent of Wyanet, began organizing a company, proposing to go over to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and join a regiment there. It was less than a year since the Kansas territory had been admitted into the sisterhood of the States, and volunteers were in demand there to fill the state's quota of troops. Captain Merriman new that there was no danger of his company being sent home, as was the first company that started to war from Wyanet. Captain Merriman and father were on very friendly terms, and he promised father that if he would allow me to enlist in his company, he would support my discharge from the service if my health failed. Father consented, and bright and early the next morning, August 18, 1861, I hastened to town and wrote my name on the muster role of the company for " three years or during the war."

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Copies of of the entire diary, or sections by year, may be acquired through the Sutler's Store.
If you want additional information, contact: Email David Habura at dave.paul@ worldnet.att.net